A few themes we explore in this session:
- What are some upstream strategies for reducing food waste in the system? Is it even possible in a society that is so focused on abundance and identical customer experience?
- What are the biggest challenges in communicating to customers the benefits and quality of food that otherwise would have been wasted and how do you address them?
- What are the biggest challenges in building relationships with different excess/imperfect food sources?
Some upstream solutions for reducing food waste are, first, diversifying the supply chain so that farmers, producers, and ranchers have many outlets. That’s really core to why Imperfect exists.
On the consumer side–normalizing selling out. We just have to get more comfortable with less bountiful shelves. A little bit of the power of e-commerce is you don’t have to have full bountiful shelves because the customer doesn’t know.
And finally, normalizing imperfections. Normalize the scars, normalize the bumps, normalize the odd shapes and sizes. Those are the things that are inherently creating food waste just because we don’t like the visuals.
We measure everything in CO2 equivalency to give us a starting benchmark on the impact that each consumer and business are having. With the issue of food waste, there is so much more than just CO2, globally 25% of fresh water is used to grow food that’s never even eaten. There are so many unseen consequences behind food waste, but CO2 adds up quite quickly.
We’ve only been in the US for about 18 months and we have 2 million people on the app. That community has already saved almost 1.7 million meals which is the CO2 equivalent of over 800 flights around the world which is kind of mind-blowing.